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By penitence the Eternal's wrath's appeas'd.
[Faints. Pro. Look to the boy. Val. Why, boy! why wag! how now? what is
the matter? Look up; speak.
Jul. O good Sir, my master charg'd me to deliver a ring to Madam Silvia, which, out of my neglect, was never done.
Pro. Where is that ring, boy?
[Gives a ring Pro. How ! let me fee : . This is the ring I gave to Julia.
Jul. Oh, cry your mercy, Sir, I have mistook ; This is the ring you fent to Silvia. [Shews another ring.
Pro. How cam'lt thou by this ring? At my depart, I gave this unto Julia.
Jul. And Julia herself did give it me; And Julia herself hath brought it hither.
Pro. How, Julia ?
Jul. Behold her that gave aim to all thy oaths,
2 All, that was mine in Silvia, I give thee.] It is (I think) very odd to give up his mistress thus at once, without any reason alledged. But our author probably followed the stories just as he found them in his novels as well as histories. Pope.
This passage either hath been much sophisticated, or is one great proof that the main parts of this play did not proceed from Shakespeare; for it is imposible he could make Valentine act and speak so much out of character, or give to Silvia so unnatural a behaviour, as to take no notice of this strange concession, if it had been made. HANMER.
3 How oft haft thou with perjury cleft the root ?] Sir T. Hanmer reads, cleft the root on't. JOHNSON.
Such an immodest rayment; if shame live
Val. Come, come, a hand from either :
Pro. Bear witness, heaven,
Enter Out-laws, with Duke and Thurio.
Your grace is welcome to a man disgrac'd,
Duke. Sir Valentine !
Val. Thurio, give back, or else enibrace thy death:
-if Mame live] That is, if it be any shame to wear a disguise for the purposes of love. JOHNSON.
-the measure- The length of my sword, the reach of my anger. JOHNSON.
• Milan hall not behold thee.-) All the editions, Verona shall not bold thee. But, whether through the mistake of the first editors, or the poet's own carelessness, this reading is absurdly faulty: For the threat here is to Thurio, who is a Milanese ; and has no concern, as it appears, with Verona. e
Take but posielfion of her with a touch ;
Thu. Sir Valentine, I care not for her, I-
Duke. The more degenerate and bafe art thou,
Duke. I grant it for thine own, whate'er it be.
Val. These banish'd men, that I have kept withal,
Duke. Thou haft prevaild. I pardon them, and
sides, the scene is betwixt the confines of Milan and Mantua,
Come, let us go; we will 7 include all jars
Val. And as we walk along, I dare be bold
Duke. I think the boy hath grace in him; he blushes.
Val. Please you, I'll tell you as we pass along,
will wonder what hath fortuned.
[8 Exeunt omnes, - include all jars] Sir Tho. Hanmer reads conclude.
JOHNSON. . In this play there is a strange mixture of knowledge and ignorance, of care and negligence. The versification is often excellent, the allusions are learned and juft; but the author conveys his heroes by sea from one inland town to another in the same country; he places the emperor at Milan, and sends his young men to attend him, but never mentions him more ; he makes Protheus, after an interview with Silvia, say he has only seen her picture; and, if we may credit the old copies, he has, by mistaking places, left his scenery inextricable. The reason of all this confusion seems to be, that he took his story from a novel, which he sometimes followed, and sometimes forsook, fometimes remembered, and sometimes forgot.
That this play is rightly attributed to Shakespeare, I have little doubt. If it be taken from him, to whom shall it be • given? This question may be aked of all the disputed plays,
except Titus Andronicus ; and it will be found more credible, that Shakespeare might sometimes sink below his highest flights, than that any other Thould rise up to his lowest. JOHNSON.